Posterior Tibialis Shin Splin Running Pain Sioux City
Your Posterior Tibialis, Shin Splints And Foot Pain
Running and jumping places enormous stress and strain on the muscles, tendons, and joints of your leg. When the posterior tibialis muscle is injured, people may feel shin pain with running and jumping. The posterior tibialis, which helps stabilize the foot and ankle during normal running and jumping movements, begins behind the tibia and runs down along the bone behind the inside of the heel bone, where it attaches to the arch of the foot.
When your posterior tibialis is injured, you may feel pain originating from behind the tibia. This pain can be intense at the beginning of a run, especially; it may lighten up for a while but will eventually return and become severe. You may know this pain by its common name, shin splints. The term shin splints is meant to refer specifically to pain along the front of the tibial bone, though it’s also often used to describe any pain in the lower leg. Either way, we like to say, the muscles hurt, and sometimes it doesn’t matter what you call it, as long as you fix it!
The posterior tibialis is a long muscle, but is not very thick. Near the ankle the muscle becomes tendon, and it continues running behind the medial malleolus (heel bone) and attaches to the top and inside part of the arch. When the posterior tibialis muscle contracts, it helps keep that arch elevated. There’s a good chance that by the time you’re conscious of experiencing leg pain, the muscle is already injured in multiple places.
Muscle Weakness Increases the Risk of Injury
Often, especially in the event of poor foot strength, this muscle fatigues, resulting in the arch collapsing and dropping; this in turn places more stress and strain on the muscle and tendon, in a sort of vicious circle. Repeated foot overpronation (arch dropping) produces tendinitis along the medial malleolus and toward the insertion on the arch. (Because of its location on the bottom of the foot, many people misdiagnose this condition as plantar fasciitis). The arch becomes very painful to the touch. When your chiropractor applies pressure to the spot, you will probably feel sharp stabbing pain, similar to the foot pain you experience while running.
Injuries to the posterior tibialis muscle and tendon tend to go hand in hand, though they may occur separately. Many runners come into the office with injuries to both muscle and tendon; they are often very surprised to find tenderness in other parts of the muscle, because they had only noticed the pain in one location.
This injury responds very well to ice, rest, and modifications to your physical activity routine. Often we will evaluate your footwear to see if your shoes are a good fit for your running gait and arch strength.
Treatment for Shin Splints
A variety of treatment options are available to decrease the intensity and frequency of pain associated with the posterior tibialis. Massage therapy can be very helpful to address muscle spasms and tenderness in the lower leg muscles. Usually when the posterior tibialis muscle is injured, there is damage to the anterior tibialis, fibularis longus, soleus, and gastrocnemius muscles as well. Basically, the whole lower leg becomes overwhelmed, and the posterior tibialis is the first muscle to become symptomatic. We use massage therapy to address muscle spasms and tenderness in all the muscles of the lower leg, to reduce the likelihood of future injuries. In addition, strengthening the other muscles of the lower leg can help protect the posterior tibialis tendon as you continue running and exercising.
Graston technique is an excellent tool for addressing scar tissue, fascial adhesions, and tendinitis injuries. It breaks upscar tissue and speeds up the healing process. Graston technique is also an excellent tool for any muscle and tendon injury. People tend to respond very well to this treatment, especially when it’s combined with massage, ice, electric, heat, and exercise.
Exercises for the foot, ankle, and lower leg muscles will also be incorporated into your treatment. Oftentimes, the foot arch and ankle muscles become weak, or do not have the necessary endurance for longer runs. Specific exercises can improve the strength of the foot arch, as well as its integration with the lower leg during physical activity. Proprioceptive or balance exercises are also an excellent tool for speeding the healing of foot and ankle injuries. Many exercises can be performed using a foam roller, rubber disc, BOSU ball, or unstable platform. The more unstable the surface, the harder your foot and ankle muscles have to work to keep you balanced.
Shin splints and posterior tibialis sprains can be effectively treated in the office with a combination of modalities, exercises, and muscle techniques. The long-term goals of treatment are to increase strength and endurance in the lower foot and ankle, so as to reduce the likelihood of future tendinitis and joint injuries. Stretching is an important tool to improve flexibility and range of motion in the ankle and leg. Many people can see significant improvement in just a few weeks.